Tag Archives: Horace Greeley

Hey, James K. Polk Ranks 11th

12 Oct

The other day, I bought a magazine that ranks all of the presidents, and I was pleasantly surprised to see James K. Polk of Columbia, Tennessee ranked 11th – behind John F. Kennedy and ahead of James Monroe. Polk is not a president that comes to mind when thinking of presidents, but he made a huge impact. Ever heard of California? He brought it into the fold.president-magazine

I wonder where the winner of this year’s election will rank. If I had to guess it will be toward the bottom. I, like a lot of people, am not crazy about either one of them. There are over 300 million people in the United States, and these are the two that made the finals.

Tomorrow, my colleague in history and I are taking part in a forum about the election and its historical significance. At least, I hope it is about the historical significance. I really do not want to get into a political debate with people arguing over the issues. The history of presidential elections is interesting as long as personal feelings do not get involved.

Anyway, the magazine lists Abraham Lincoln as the best president and James Buchanan as the worst. That is typical, but it is also interesting that they served back to back. It is also interesting that Buchanan served as Secretary of State for James K. Polk, who finds himself climbing the charts.

Sadly, they do not include William Henry Harrison, who died a month after taking office. I understand they he was not around long enough to do anything, but they should at least put him in a footnote. After all, he was president. On top of that, he was part of one of the most important campaigns in presidential history. In fact, my history colleague is writing a book about it. Have you ever “gotten the ball rolling?” Read the boo land find out why you do that.

I probably need to study up for tomorrow’s forum. I think I will start with the candidacy of Horace Greeley.

As for You Old Man – Go West and Grow Young With the Country

27 Jul

No, that’s not the way it goes. However, it is one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Dutton Peabody, the newspaper editor and town drunk, utters this line in honor of his former boss, Horace Greeley. Unfortunately for the movie makers, Greeley never wrote “Go West Young Man and Grow Up With the Country.”

Anyway, I say all of that to say that I am going West. Tomorrow, I am heading out for Montana, one of my favorite states. Even better, I am going with my dad, my brother and my nephews. I will not be blogging while I am away, but I will be tweeting. You can follow those tweets by hitting the button to the right. Like my last trip into the West, I will blog all about it upon my return.